Boston Celtics rumors: Intriguing players to watch at NBA trade deadline

Boston Celtics Danny Ainge (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Danny Ainge (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

With the NBA Trade Deadline less than a month away, the Boston Celtics have to consider using their designated player exception.

When the Boston Celtics lost Gordon Hayward in the first five minutes of the season, the NBA granted the team a designated player exception. The exception is worth $8.4 million and will be a key piece to the Celtics’ strategy going into the NBA’s February 8th trade deadline.

As they are currently comprised, the Celtics have developed incredible team chemistry and fought their way to the second highest win total in the NBA. They are less needy than some of their competition, like Cleveland who is need of a defensive stopper or Washington who could use a more offensively talented front court.

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But Boston is in the unique position of having the ability to add a new piece that they are not necessarily in need of. Danny Ainge still has draft picks to deal and the free $8.4 million in cap space gives him flexibility to bring someone in.

Free agent prospects

Free agency could be a potential route as well, with older productive players like Andrew Bogut or Brandon Bass still available, but with so many assets, a trade seems very likely.

The tricky part of the DPE is that it can only be used in specific circumstances: the Boston Celtics can only use it to trade for a player in the final year of their contract. There are plenty of stars heading toward free agency who would either never be traded to Boston (Dwyane Wade and Tony Parker) or are unlikely to be affordable with what the Celtics are willing to sell (DeMarcus Cousins, Jabari Parker, and Derrick Favors).